Anyone who has ice or mixed climbed in Hyalite Canyon outside of Bozeman, Montana knows that the definitive guidebook has always been Joe Josephson’s Winter Dance written in 2004. The only problem is that copies are extremely hard, if not impossible, to find. For years, people have pleaded with JoJo, as he is affectionately known to the climbing community, to update the guidebook. It looks like our pleas have finally been answered.
Fifteen years in the works, The House of Hyalite guidebook will describe more than 300 ice and mixed routes in the canyon, with more than 200 for the very first time. Although Josephson has been gathering intel for years, a massive surge of activity and new routes put up during the epic winter of 2017/18 propelled him to work with local climber Matt Hopkins to help keep up with all the new information and routes to gather them into the new guidebook.
For those not familiar with Hyalite Canyon, it is the epicenter of ice climbing for Montana and even the entire Pacific Northwest. Easy access and early season conditions combine with a heavy concentration of climbs over beautiful, interesting terrain, to make Hyalite a destination climbing venue. Bozeman is home to some legendary climbers and every year holds the Bozeman Ice Festival in December that brings the ice climbing community together to kick off the season. It’s arguably one of my favorite places to climb in the country.
Last week, Josephson launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first publication run of the new guidebook. The book features 400 pages in full color and is set to be published in September.
As a bonus for supporting the book, you get prints or postcards of watercolor paintings by Rachel Ainuu — she painted some of the more popular and iconic climbs in Hyalite. I have a couple of her paintings that Mystery Ranch gave us when we went climbing in Hyalite over the winter.
Head on over to Kickstarter to pre-order your copy of The House of Hyalite today. I already ordered mine and can’t wait to head out to Hyalite again next winter. Nice work JoJo!